NutritionPrinciples was founded to teach principles of human nutrition and fitness. Sadly, many people reach out to us, explaining that they don’t have enough time to work out.
What if we told you that you can lose weight, build muscle in LESS time than normal? That’s exactly what HIIT training offers!
Today, we’ll take a deeper look at this training process, and we’ll also recommend some of the best HIIT workouts with weights. Let’s get going!
What Is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. HIIT workouts typically consist of four to six rounds. In each round, you perform two intervals: high-intensity and low-intensity.
During the high-intensity interval, you push your body beyond its limits by exercising as hard as you can for about 30 seconds. Then, you allow your body to calm down and recover during the low-intensity interval, where you perform moderate workouts with minimal resistance for about 4 minutes.
Why Should You Perform HIIT Workouts?
In addition to saving your time, HIIT sizzles away more fat than normal workouts. Recent research has estimated that HIIT burns at least 25–30% more calories than typical cardio training.
And it gets even better! Since HIIT shocks your body with repeated bouts of intense workouts, it revs up your metabolism for hours after you finish. In other words, your body will keep burning fat rather than carbs to gain energy, helping you to lose weight faster.
Can You Perform HIIT With Weights to Build Muscle?
Yes. Although HIIT was originally developed for cardio, you can incorporate weights to ramp up your muscle gains.
But since HIIT requires rapid training to achieve the desired goals, you should pay extra attention to safety. Never push your body too much beyond its limits by trying to lift heavier weights — this will increase the likelihood of unfortunate injuries.
Top 4 HIIT Workouts With Weights
Alright, now that we’ve established the basics, let’s see how you can add weights to your HIIT training.
To unlock your best potential, it’s better to train one muscle group per day, just like normal strength training. We’ve varied our curated routines to include chest, back, arm, and leg exercises.
Remember, all of the following routines represent only one HIIT round. To achieve the best result, repeat each routine between 4 and 6 times.
1- HIIT Doing Jumping Jacks & Bench Press
- Interval 1: Jumping jacks (30 seconds)
- Interval 2.1: Flat bench press (2 minutes)
- 30-second break
- Interval 2.2: Incline bench press (2 minutes)
At first, start with a light warm-up to slowly increase your heart rate. You can run in place for a minute, or you can train lightly on a stair climber.
Then, start performing jumping jacks. Do as many reps as you can fit inside 30 seconds. Remember to extend your arms all the way above your head while keeping them straight.
After taking a 30-second break, lie back on the bench, and perform 10 reps of incline bench press. And again, do as many sets as possible inside the 2-minute window with 10-second breaks.
2- Kettlebell Swings, Deadlifts & Rows
- Interval 1: Kettlebell swings (30 seconds)
- Interval 2.1: Deadlift (2 minutes)
- 30-second break
- Interval 2.2: Bent-over row (2 minutes)
Start with a 1-minute warm-up of slow sit-ups. Then grab a 20-pound kettlebell (go lighter if you’re a beginner) and swing it in front of your body until your arms become parallel to the floor. Do as many reps as possible for 30 seconds.
Next, prepare your barbell with moderate weight and perform 10 reps of explosive deadlifts. Take 10-second breaks, and perform as many sets as possible for 2 minutes.
With the same barbell, bend your upper body forwards and perform 10 reps of bent-over rows. Take 10-second breaks between each set, and do as many as the 2 minutes allow.
3- Lunges & Squats
- Interval 1: Speed lunges (30 seconds)
- Interval 2.1: High-bar squats (2 minutes)
- 30-second break
- Interval 2.2: Low-bar squats (2 minutes)
Run in place for 1 minute to warm up. To perform the speed lunges, lunge forward and alternate your legs as fast as you can. You can bounce up and down to add an extra challenge. Keep doing that for 30 seconds with no breaks.
Next, lower the bar to sit on your posterior delts, right below your traps. Squat for 10 reps with 10-second breaks over 2 minutes.
4- Russian Pushups & Biceps Curl
- Interval 1: Russian pushups (30 seconds)
- Interval 2.1: Dumbbell curls (2 minutes)
- 30-second break
- Interval 2.2: Barbell curls (2 minutes)
Perform slow jumping jacks for 1 minute. Then get into the pushup position, and shift into a forearm plank once you lower your body to the ground — that’s the crazy-intense Russian pushup.
Preferably, you should perform the barbell curls with an EZ curl bar. Thanks to its unique angles, this bar won’t load too much force on your wrists and elbows, allowing you to exercise for longer periods. Do 15 reps, take 15-second breaks, and repeat for 2 minutes.
One Last Thing: HIIT Is NOT an Everyday Training
As you saw in the previous workouts, HIIT is designed to force your body to work at 85-95% of your VO2Max (the maximum oxygen utilization rate). Although this will sizzle your body fat faster, it also increases the levels of stress hormones, namely adrenaline, and cortisol.
You must allow your body to recover from this stress by resting for at least 48 hours. If you must train, stick to low-intensity workouts, such as light jogging. And of course, pay special attention to your diet.
Have you tried HIIT before? Share your experience with us in the comments below!